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How to reduce 3 common manufacturing vulnerabilities


Are your facilities putting you at risk?
How to reduce 3 common
manufacturing vulnerabilities

Managing a manufacturing facility is no easy endeavor.
And keeping your employees safe, throughput high and
security risks at bay makes it that much more challenging.
If you face these three problems in your facilities, you are
not alone – manufacturers deal with these vulnerabilities
on a day-to-day basis. So, let’s take a look at them in more
detail to discover ways to mitigate each risk and ensure
your facilities are effectively managed.

Employee safety

Because your employees are most likely handling heavy

machinery day-in and day-out, it’s important that their safety

is at the top of your priority list. Making this a lesser priority

could result in injured employees and possibly a lawsuit.

To get started, make sure your team is well versed on OSHA

regulations. These standards will give your team a good safety

foundation because they meet all legal requirements, but if you

really want to practice safety in your facilities, you should go

above and beyond the compliance baseline. For instance, you

should always encourage safe and proper processes, not just a

successful outcome. If Jim successfully fixed a broken machine

in a record amount of time, but skipped safety steps to do so,

he should be instructed on how to safely perform maintenance

in the future, not just rewarded for getting the job done quickly.

It’s important to remember that mistakes happen in the

workplace, and sometimes they are unavoidable. However,

learning from these mistakes to prevent accidents in the

future is very important. Take action and train your team to

ensure errors that have been made in the past will not occur

again in the future.


In FMX, you can create step-by-step

checklists that your team needs to

complete before being able to close out

a preventive maintenance (PM) task.

For instance, if someone is working

on the boiler, you can make the

first step in the instructions to turn off

the boiler so no one gets hurt.

These checklists help ensure that all

safety precautions are being taken to

prevent injuries to you and your team.

Balancing maintenance with throughput

It can be tempting to postpone, or even avoid, PM for your

facilities because throughput will be temporarily ceased.

However, regular PM can actually increase throughput and

help provide your customers with high-quality products and

faster delivery times. Taking the time to properly inspect

your equipment and fix any issues will also save you time

and money in the long run. In fact, switching from reactive

maintenance to preventive maintenance saves organizations

an average of 12-18 percent on maintenance costs each year.

In addition, PM can create a safe working environment

for you and your team. For instance, worn and overused

machinery puts your team at risk for injuries should a piece

of equipment malfunction while an employee is using it.

Purchasing high-performing assets that meet manufacturer

specifications, along with performing preventive

maintenance, will keep your team safe and your costs low!


FMX can help take the hard work out of

preventive maintenance by helping you

schedule tasks days, weeks, months, or

years in advance.

You can even schedule recurring

tasks so that every 6 months you

and your team get notified via

email that it’s time to inspect the

hydraulic press, for example.

When a PM task is closed out, you can

even have your team include the labor

hours and parts used. The completed

PM task will then appear in the asset’s

maintenance log. You can also see a

running total of labor and inventory

costs for each asset.

Cyber-security risks

As the second most attacked industry, manufacturers are experiencing

more cyber attacks than ever before, which can be attributed to the

use of a digital supply network (DSN). While a DSN improves the

management and flow of goods and supplies, it also brings security

weaknesses because the chains, factories, customers, and operations

within the DSN are linked together. This issue is so prevalent that

according to The Global State of Information Security Survey from

2015, three quarters of manufacturing organizations reported that

they detected security incidents over the past 12 months. So how

can you reduce these threats for your own company?

To start, Internet of Things (IoT) device manufacturers can include

secure coding practices throughout the development life cycle,

such as security gateways and secure software codes and libraries.

This will ensure that most of your vulnerabilities are addressed as

early as possible in the process. You should also protect sensitive

data with a highly effective security approach, which oftentimes

means more than just backing up your data on a second device.

Any time you see a situation that may compromise your security,

you should report this so that the issue can be resolved immediately.

It’s important to remember that not all attacks can be avoided.

So, have a plan ready in case the day comes when you need to

take immediate action.

If you’re already addressing these 3 risks, then great job!

But if some of these are persistent problems in your

facilities, it’s probably time to look into them further.

With facilities management (FM) software, like FMX,

you can easily input and manage all of your preventive

maintenance (PM) tasks, which will help you maintain an

equal balance of maintenance and throughput. FMX will

even allow you to add security steps for these preventive

maintenance tasks to ensure employee safety while

operating on equipment. While manufacturing companies’

risks are ever–increasing, implementing the three

suggestions above will help keep them to a minimum.